Preston Weston heard his own voice on the tape his father was viewing. “Hey dad?”
“Yes son,” slouching Craighead Phillips Option 01 said from the couch.
“Whatcha watching, heh?”
“Oh, just your school play you put on last year. Can’t get enough of it.” He chuckles at something his son said on the videotape, currently playing the role of Hamlet.
“Cool, cool, heh.”
There was silence between the two as dad watched act 01 scene 03 unfold.
“Hey son. There’s Felicia Mae Appletree. Didn’t you have a thing for her (mother) last year?”
“Yeah, heh, a thing,” returns Preston Weston, thinking: duh, still a thing, dad.
“What did you use to say about her? — so cute.”
“Geez, I don’t know, dad.” Pacman level 3 had just been reached by eating the last red ghost.
“Yeah, he he, I remember. You said, that apple tree needs shaking, dad.”
“Right. I remember.” A new ghost appears, new apple color. Green this time.
More silence as each are engrossed in their respective activities. Then Craighead Phillips abruptly switches off the new colored TV his wife bought just this afternoon. “Well, I’m satisfied with the product, Preston. How do you like the new colored monitor we bought in tandem, eh? 1/2 price on each. What a deal.”
“It’s, er, *great* dad. Never knew there were more than two shades of ghosts. All these colors, heh!”
“Okay, we’re both satisfied. Let’s go tell your mother.”
“Oh, heh. Mom always goes out at about this time to the bridge club.”
“Oh… well, um, let’s get something to eat, eh? Little snack before supper?”
“I’m on my dessert already and you haven’t even hardly touched your sandwich yet. What gives?”
“Oh, a little belly ache I suppose, heh.” Preston Weston forces himself to take another bite of the BLT before him, knowing that his mama would fix a full meal only about an hour later that he would be *required* to finish.
“How was school today? I forgot to ask earlier.”
“Fine, dad. Thanks for picking me up,” he said with a mouthful.
“You’re welcome.” *slurp*
“How’s, er, mom’s mouse?”
“That’s mousse, son. And it’s fine.” *slurp*. “Almost perfect, actually.”
“Oh right. Mousse, like the animal moose. Not a mouse, hehe, heh.”
“Right son.” *double slurp* “Well, I’m done. Guess it’s time to go.”
“You heading back to — where, heh, did you say you came from today?”
“Athlone Village. In the middle of it all, which is — go ahead and say it with me, son.”
“Which is unfortunately in the way,” they utter in tandem, Preston Weston rather reluctantly, tired of the old saying.
“What time did your father leave today, Preston Weston?” Her voice suddenly had that edge to it. Father talk edge.
“Oh, heh. Um, about 4 I guess. Maybe, heh, closer to 5?”
“Bridge time, then, hmm,” Your Mama dismissed.
Preston Weston wanted to ask his mother if that bridge would ever get built but resisted the urge.
She turned to her other son, in the chair. “How about you Robin? When did *you* get home from the wilds? Did you also see your father?”
I’m not his son, he thought. “Oh, about 5 as well. Must have just missed him, sorry.” He wasn’t sorry.
They all kept watching “Leave it to Beav” in living color after this. Starring: the Beav.
“Look ma,” Preston Weston indicated. “Like *me*!”
He was suddenly inside the TV set again, 3 hours lost.